Patients' preferences for treatment outcomes for advanced non-small cell lung cancer: a conjoint analysis.
ABSTRACT Treatment decisions for advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) are complex and require trade-offs between the benefits and risks experienced by patients. We evaluated the benefits that patients judged sufficient to compensate for the risks associated with therapy for NSCLC.
Participants with a self-reported diagnosis of NSCLC (n=100) were sampled from an online panel in the United Kingdom. Eligible and consenting participants then completed a self-administered online survey about their disease and their treatment preferences were assessed. This involved respondents choosing among systematically paired profiles that spanned eight attributes: progression-free survival [PFS], symptom severity, rash, diarrhoea, fatigue, nausea and vomiting, fever and infection, and mode of treatment administration (infusion and oral). A choice model was estimated using mixed-logit regression. Estimates of importance for each attribute level and attribute were then calculated and acceptable tradeoffs among attributes were explored.
A total of 89 respondents (73% male) completed all choice tasks appropriately. Increases in PFS together with improvements in symptom severity were judged most important and increased with PFS benefit - 4 months: 5.7; 95% CI: 3.5-7.9; 5 months: 7.1; 95% CI: 4.4-9.9; and 7 months: 10.0; 95% CI: 6.1-13.9. However, improvements in PFS were viewed as most beneficial when disease symptoms were mild and as detrimental when patients had severe symptoms. Fatigue (5.0; 95% CI: 2.7-7.3) was judged to be the most important risk, followed by diarrhoea (2.8; 95% CI: 0.7-4.9), nausea and vomiting (2.1; 95% CI: 0.1-4.1), fever and infection (2.1; 95% CI: 0.2-4.1), and rash (2.0; 95% CI: 0.2-3.9). Oral administration was preferred to infusion (1.8; 95% CI: 0.0-3.6). Patients with mild and moderate symptoms traded PFS for less risks or more convenience if the severe symptoms were not experienced.
This study demonstrates the value of conjoint analysis in the study of patient preferences for cancer treatments. In this small sample of patients with NSCLC from the UK, we demonstrate that the value of improvements in PFS is conditional upon the severity of disease symptoms; and that risks are valued differently.
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ABSTRACT: The use of oral anticancer drugs has increased during the last decade, because of patient preference, lower costs, proven efficacy, lack of infusion-related inconveniences, and the opportunity to develop chronic treatment regimens. Oral administration of anticancer drugs is, however, often hampered by limited bioavailability of the drug, which is associated with a wide variability. Since most anticancer drugs have a narrow therapeutic window and are dosed at or close to the maximum tolerated dose, a wide variability in the bioavailability can have a negative impact on treatment outcome. This review discusses mechanisms of low bioavailability of oral anticancer drugs and strategies for improvement. The extent of oral bioavailability depends on many factors, including release of the drug from the pharmaceutical dosage form, a drug's stability in the gastrointestinal tract, factors affecting dissolution, the rate of passage through the gut wall, and the pre-systemic metabolism in the gut wall and liver. These factors are divided into pharmaceutical limitations, physiological endogenous limitations, and patient-specific limitations. There are several strategies to reduce or overcome these limitations. First, pharmaceutical adjustment of the formulation or the physicochemical characteristics of the drug can improve the dissolution rate and absorption. Second, pharmacological interventions by combining the drug with inhibitors of transporter proteins and/or pre-systemic metabolizing enzymes can overcome the physiological endogenous limitations. Third, chemical modification of a drug by synthesis of a derivative, salt form, or prodrug could enhance the bioavailability by improving the absorption and bypassing physiological endogenous limitations. Although the bioavailability can be enhanced by various strategies, the development of novel oral products with low solubility or cell membrane permeability remains cumbersome and is often unsuccessful. The main reasons are unacceptable variation in the bioavailability and high investment costs. Furthermore, novel oral anticancer drugs are frequently associated with toxic effects including unacceptable gastrointestinal adverse effects. Therefore, compliance is often suboptimal, which may negatively influence treatment outcome.Clinical Pharmacokinetics 02/2013; · 6.11 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: The rigorous elicitation of user needs is a crucial step for both medical device design and purchasing. However, user needs elicitation is often based on qualitative methods whose findings can be difficult to integrate into medical decision-making. This paper describes the application of AHP to elicit user needs for a new CT scanner for use in a public hospital. METHODS: AHP was used to design a hierarchy of 12 needs for a new CT scanner, grouped into 4 homogenous categories, and to prepare a paper questionnaire to investigate the relative priorities of these. The questionnaire was completed by 5 senior clinicians working in a variety of clinical specialisations and departments in the same Italian public hospital. RESULTS: Although safety and performance were considered the most important issues, user needs changed according to clinical scenario. For elective surgery, the five most important needs were: spatial resolution, processing software, radiation dose, patient monitoring, and contrast medium. For emergency, the top five most important needs were: patient monitoring, radiation dose, contrast medium control, speed run, spatial resolution. CONCLUSIONS: AHP effectively supported user need elicitation, helping to develop an analytic and intelligible framework of decision-making. User needs varied according to working scenario (elective versus emergency medicine) more than clinical specialization. This method should be considered by practitioners involved in decisions about new medical technology, whether that be during device design or before deciding whether to allocate budgets for new medical devices according to clinical functions or according to hospital department.BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making 01/2013; 13(1):2. · 1.60 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Decisions regarding the development, regulation, sale, and utilization of pharmaceutical and medical interventions require an evaluation of the balance between benefits and risks. Such evaluations are subject to two fundamental challenges-measuring the clinical effectiveness and harms associated with the treatment, and determining the relative importance of these different types of outcomes. In some ways, determining the willingness to accept treatment-related risks in exchange for treatment benefits is the greater challenge because it involves the individual subjective judgments of many decision makers, and these decision makers may draw different conclusions about the optimal balance between benefits and risks. In response to increasing demand for benefit-risk evaluations, researchers have applied a variety of existing welfare-theoretic preference methods for quantifying the tradeoffs decision makers are willing to accept among expected clinical benefits and risks. The methods used to elicit benefit-risk preferences have evolved from different theoretical backgrounds. To provide some structure to the literature that accommodates the range of approaches, we begin by describing a welfare-theoretic conceptual framework underlying the measurement of benefit-risk preferences in pharmaceutical and medical treatment decisions. We then review the major benefit-risk preference-elicitation methods in the empirical literature and provide a brief overview of the studies using each of these methods. The benefit-risk preference methods described in this overview fall into two broad categories: direct-elicitation methods and conjoint analysis. Rating scales (6 studies), threshold techniques (9 studies), and standard gamble (2 studies) are examples of direct elicitation methods. Conjoint analysis studies are categorized by the question format used in the study, including ranking (1 study), graded pairs (1 study), and discrete choice (21 studies). The number of studies reviewed here demonstrates that this body of research already is substantial, and it appears that the number of benefit-risk preference studies in the literature will continue to increase. In addition, benefit-risk preference-elicitation methods have been applied to a variety of healthcare decisions and medical interventions, including pharmaceuticals, medical devices, surgical and medical procedures, and diagnostics, as well as resource-allocation decisions such as facility placement. While preference-elicitation approaches may differ across studies, all of the studies described in this review can be used to provide quantitative measures of the tradeoffs patients and other decision makers are willing to make between benefits and risks of medical interventions. Eliciting and quantifying the preferences of decision makers allows for a formal, evidence-based consideration of decision-makers' values that currently is lacking in regulatory decision making. Future research in this area should focus on two primary issues-developing best-practice standards for preference-elicitation studies and developing methods for combining stated preferences and clinical data in a manner that is both understandable and useful to regulatory agencies.Applied Health Economics and Health Policy 05/2013;